In order to ensure Europe’s global connectivity, and to keep abreast of global higher education development trends, EUA is in continued dialogue with partners outside of Europe. The Association has consistently pushed for a global dimension of European higher education by building a joint European approach for international collaboration, supporting institutional internationalisation and promoting European higher education to its global partners. It is also in official partnership with UNESCO (associate status).
European universities have a wide range of international contacts and academic collaborations with partner institutions around the world. With the consolidation of the European Higher Education Area came the realisation that Europe is increasingly attractive globally, both as a study destination and as a partner for exchange. In parallel, the global race for talent has accelerated, and European universities have increasingly focused on positioning their education and research offer internationally.
Internationalisation is a strategic goal of European governments and universities, with priority placed on student and staff mobility, cross-border partnerships and learning and teaching approaches. EUA supports the institutional development of internationalisation through a variety of projects and memberships services. It is also actively engaged in global policy dialogues and collaboration between Europe and other world regions, including the EU Neighbourhood. EUA laid down its own approach in 2006 in its International Agenda – which may have been the first ever European-level higher education strategy. While since then a lot of progress has been made in internationalisation, and the overall context has changed, the principles of the International Agenda continue to guide EUA’s exchange and collaboration with international partners.
EUA keeps links with the Association of African Universities (AAU) with whom it endorsed a joint Statement on Europe-Africa higher education cooperation, outlining the commitments of the two organisations. It has also been following the Africa-EU Strategic Partnership.
Together with AAU and other partners, EUA mapped the various ways in which universities are contributing to the development agenda, and issued a White Paper: Africa-Europe Higher Education Cooperation for Development , with several principles for European universities engaging with partners in emerging economies, in Africa and beyond. Since then EUA and AAU continued their partnership under the EU-funded HAQAA initiative, mainly meant to develop a pan-African Quality Assurance and Accreditation System (2016-2018).
EUA is also involved as a partner in the Yebo! project, which focuses on further developing the internationalisation of doctoral education in South African universities.
Since 1989, the three associations have gathered higher education institutional leaders (presidents, rectors and chancellors) from Europe, Canada and the United States for a Transatlantic Dialogue, to discuss and share perspectives on current higher education issues and policy developments.
In Latin America, EUA has participated in a number of initiatives aimed at higher education integration, harmonisation and enhanced cooperation and exchange. EUA started a dialogue with the Consejo Universitario Iberoamericano (CUIB) in 2004, to work towards the creation of an integrated higher education and research area between EU and the Latin American and Caribbean countries (LAC region). Over the years, EUA has also collaborated on projects with a number of organisations such as the Observatorio de las Relaciones Union Europea America Latina (OBREAL) and LAC university associations.
EUA also follows the process between the European Union and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), in which higher education, research, technology and innovation have been assigned priority. In 2017, it became the main European partner in a related stakeholder process, in close collaboration with LAC partner organisations and the EU-LAC Foundation.
The Arab-Euro Conference on Higher Education (AECHE) is a joint initiative of the Association of Arab Universities (AARU) and EUA, supported by members and partners to promote dialogue, mutual understanding, and increased cooperation between Arab and European universities.
Launched in 2013 at the University of Barcelona, AECHE organises thematic conferences and promotes policy exchange between the two regions. In 2017, the Mohammed V University in Morocco hosted the 4th AECHE Conference, which focused on research collaboration and capacity building among Arab and European universities.
To generate dialogue and sustainable relations between Asian and European institutions, EUA has taken up several initiatives with Asian partners. From 2008-2009, EUA led a European Commission funded project “EU-Asia Higher Education Platform” (EAHEP) organising thematic workshops, roundtables, symposia and European higher education fairs across Asia and Europe. More recently, EUA partnered in an initiative “European Union Support to Higher Education in the Asean Region”. (2015-2018).
EUA has a large membership far beyond the EU, including 122 institutions in EU Neighbourhood and accession countries, as well as 32 institutions in Russia and Kazakhstan. These higher education institutions participate in EUA events and projects and contribute to the community of European universities.
Higher education and research play a key role in fostering cooperation between the European Union
and its neighbours. Universities build bridges across political, cultural and economic borders through student and staff mobility, research collaborations, and through studying and teaching foreign cultures. The Association works towards improving higher education in the whole region, using the advantage of its diversity with a common purpose.
The UK and Switzerland are closely engaged with the rest of Europe. Both are part of the Bologna Process and have roles in the European Research Area. The UK is a former member of the European Union and now has a structured relationship based on the various agreements and unilateral decisions, including association to the Horizon Europe Programme. Switzerland has been associated to the framework programmes for research as well as to the Erasmus+ Programme in the past but is now in a period of transition in its relation to the EU.
EUA has been working to ensure continued cooperation between universities in the two countries and in the rest of Europe. During the Brexit negotiations, the Association published several briefings and advocated in Brussels for association of the UK to EU programmes. Likewise for Switzerland, EUA is arguing for continued association to particularly the Horizon Europe Programme.
EUA monitors the international trade agreements that the European Commission negotiates with third country partners and regions. While such agreements do not necessarily include higher education, neither do they automatically exclude it.
Article 1.3 of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) excludes “any services supplied in the exercise of governmental authority [and supplied] neither on a commercial basis nor in competition with one or more service suppliers”.
How such services are defined is nevertheless open to interpretation. As higher education institutions explore diverse funding streams, the distinctions between public, private, not-for-profit and for-profit are increasingly unclear.
EUA, the American Council of Education (ACE), Universities Canada and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) issued a Joint Declaration on Higher Education and the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) in 2001. In 2015, the EUA Board declared that higher education benefits individuals, society and the world at large in ways that are not easily quantifiable. It is a public responsibility to which all citizens have right of access and not a commodity to be transacted by commercial interests on a for-profit basis. It should not be subject to international trade regimes.
EUA Strategic Plan
The need for strong universities has never been greater in addressing societal challenges. The Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, resource scarcity, ageing populations, migration and managing artificial intelligence are among the many examples of areas where universities have a major impact.
The European Commission’s new proposal for the next seven-year budget of the European Union together with the Next Generation EU recovery plan falls short of much needed investment in research, innovation and education.
The annual meeting of the Global University Associations Forum (GUAF) took place on 4-5 September 2023, in Bangkok, Thailand. This is the second time that GUAF’s members have met in person, with this year’s meeting chaired by the ASEAN University Network (AUN). At the meeting, the European...view more
The European University Association (EUA) and the Latin American and Caribbean Space for Higher Education (ENLACES) have published a joint statement ahead of a summit between the two regions’ leaders. The third summit between leaders from the European Union and the Community of Latin American...view more
The European University Association has urged the European Commission to be mindful of not letting the notion of protection stand in the way of dialogue between a multitude of actors, both within European societies and globally. In EUA’s input to a European Commission public consultation on the...view more
On 17 May, representatives of the European University Association and fellow university associations in Africa, the Americas, the Arab region and Asia came together in Barcelona to formally constitute the Global University Associations Forum (GUAF). This initiative was first conceived in 2020...view more
EUA held an official pre-event to the European Union-African Union Summit to explore the role of regional and interregional approaches for improving higher education systems on 10 February in collaboration with OBREAL Global. In the run-up to the summit, the event provided an opportunity to...view more
On the occasion of the 8th Meeting of Asia-Europe (ASEM) Ministers of Education, the ASEAN University Network (AUN), the European University Association (EUA) and the International Association of Universities (IAU), would like to reiterate their commitment towards the ASEM Education Process, and...view more
On 4–5 November, a conference on "International Higher Education and Global Science – EU-China relations in a Changing World Order" will take place in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The conference will look at how international higher education, global collaboration, open science, and Sino-European-US...view more
This is the first briefing in a new EUA series focused on evolving university governance. The...read more
The Refugee Education Initiatives 2 (REIs 2) consortium organises the online workshop “Recognising Learning and Promoting Inclusion: conversations on access to university in Europe for refugees and displaced people” on 30 October. The workshop is part of the EU-funded REIS2 project and it is...view more
EUA partner Scholars at Risk (SAR) organises “Free to Think 2020: Responding to Attacks on Higher Education” on 19 – 20 November 2020. The virtual conference marks SAR’s 20th anniversary and the release of the SAR's annual monitoring report, Free to Think 2020. The event will also feature the...view more
Coventry University’s Centre for Global Learning: Education and Attainment (GLEA) organises the online conference “Reconstructing education through a global lens” on 2 – 6 November 2020. The weeklong online event will showcase, discuss and share ideas on important issues related to...view more
Coventry University's Centre for Global Learning: Education and Attainment organise the virtual conference “Reconstructing education through a global lens” from 2 to 6 November 2020. This week-long series of online events will showcase, discuss and share ideas on important issues related to...view more
Universities have a strategic interest in trade in higher education services and this policy...read more
On 9 July, the European Commission announced the selection results of the second pilot call under the European Universities Initiative. Out of 62 applications, 24 new university alliances were chosen with a total of 165 participating higher education institutions from 26 countries. 122 of those...view more
EUA has published the position “The future of the European Universities Initiative – the sector’s perspective” together with the results of the recent EUA survey on international strategic institutional partnerships and the European Universities Initiative. Endorsed by the EUA Council, the...view more
In early 2020, EUA conducted a survey on international strategic institutional partnerships and...read more
EUA partner Scholars at Risk (SAR) released the report Free to Think 2019 analysing 324 attacks on higher education communities in 56 countries between 1 September 2018 and 31 August 2019. The report draws on data from SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project to identify trends related to...view more
The sixth edition of the International Turkic World Tourism Symposium will take place on 9-11...view more
The UNESCO General Conference has adopted the Global Convention on the Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications, or Global Recognition Convention, as it is more commonly referred to. This document constitutes a culmination of decades of efforts of streamlining recognition practices across...view more
On 7 November the first 17 alliances of the European Universities Initiative were launched in Brussels in the presence of some 800 representatives of universities, university associations, student, national ministries and the European Commission. EUA President Michael Murphy addressed the...view more
HUMANE, the Heads of University Management & Administration Network in Europe, together with partner EFMD, the European Foundation for Management Development, will organise the Shanghai Transnational Partnerships School from 17 to 22 November. Developed in collaboration with the Shanghai...view more
The International Association of Universities (IAU) recently held its annual conference in Kuala Lumpur with a focus on partnerships for societal impact. Some 300 delegates were present from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe and from Brazil to Uganda. The European contingent notably included a strong...view more
This essay is the result of the 15th Transatlantic Dialogue held in July 2018. The seminar,...read more
The EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement was the first of a new generation of free trade agreements....read more
The EU hopes to conclude a series of trade deals in the near future. Its new agreement with...read more
On 1-4 July about 30 university presidents from Canada, Europe and the United States convened at the European University Institute (EUI) in Fiesole, Florence, for the 15th Transatlantic Dialogue. This event addressed the timely theme “Higher education and its communities: openness, democracy and...view more
This briefing includes the latest information on the progress of the agreement and reviews...read more
The American Council on Education (ACE) has launched a global exchange on how to improve outcomes for underserved students through research, policy and the dissemination of good practices. On 2-4 February 2018, ACE invited higher education, policy and business leaders to participate in...view more
EUA, as the stakeholder organisation representing European universities, participated to the 6th...view more
On 18 October, EUA and EARMA, the European Association of Research Managers and Administrators, co-organised a seminar entitled “Higher education cooperation for development and Sustainable Development Goals: Meeting global and regional challenges”. The seminar was hosted by MEP Bogdan Wenta at...view more
The 6th Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) Rectors’ Conference and Students’ Forum (ARC6) took place at Singapore Management University on 9-13 October 2017. The event brought together around 110 university leaders, higher education experts, student leaders, and representatives from the business sector...view more
Results of the EU-CELAC Academic and Knowledge Summit. Over 250 members of the EU, Latin American and Caribbean academic and scientific community convened in El Salvador at the University of El Salvador on 5-6 October, for the EU-CELAC Academic and Knowledge Summit, an event to feed...view more
Speaking on the topic of ‘Breaking the mould: anticipating the future of global education’, EUA Secretary General Lesley Wilson gave the keynote address at the 52nd Annual Assembly of CLADEA (Consejo Latinoamericano de Escuela de Administración), the Latin American Council of Management Schools,...view more
This briefing focuses on the detail of the EU side of the CETA. On the Canadian side, the Agreement involves federal administrations as well as those at provincial and territorial levels. This is not a case of the complex confronting the simple. The full consolidated text runs 1 500 pages. EU...read more
EUA is deeply concerned about the spirit of US President Donald Trump’s new travel ban and its potential implications on the free flow of people and ideas. EUA believes the new executive order, issued on 6 March 2017, continues to aim indiscriminately at large groups of people to the...view more
Some 40 major European organisations involved in science, including EUA, have issued an open letter to European governments and the presidents of the EU Council and Commission asking them to uphold the principles and values that underpin scientific progress and to work with the US administration...view more
On 12 and 13 October 2016, the first Sino-European Forum on Education Policy Think Tanks took...view more
EUA reports regularly on two policy areas which have implications for higher education institutions: EU trade agreements and EU legislation on the recognition of professional qualifications. As the globalisation of higher education gathers pace and as potential EU trade agreements proliferate,...read more
EU trade negotiations can affect the conditions under which the European higher education sector operates. The position of EUA’s Board and Council is that the EU should not make commitments in the categories of HE and AE (higher and adult education) and that it should make absolutely...read more
Europe needs talented students and researchers in order to achieve its goals for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. For this reason, the European University Association (EUA) welcomes the initiative to revise the Directive on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals...read more
This Update joins others in a growing dossier aiming to keep the higher education sector informed of developments in EU trade negotiations. It follows a Statement issued by EUA Board and Council at the end of January, which concluded that 'the EU should not make commitments in the categories of HE...read more
This Update follows a background paper published by EUA in January 2014 and Updates issued in April and August. EUA is concerned with the status of higher education as a tradable service and the extent to which HE might feature in future international free trade agreements (FTAs). A number of...read more
This Update follows a background paper published by EUA in January and an Update issued in April 2014. EUA is primarily concerned with the status of higher education as a tradable service and the extent to which it might feature in international trade agreements. A number of such agreements are...read more
The TRESAL survey, undertaken under the ALPHA PUENTES project, gathered information developments in Latin American higher education over the past decade, through responses from university leadership, staff and students. The results were expected to strengthen institutions, help build the Latin...read more
This Update concerns TTIP as it stands at the beginning of April 2014. It covers the current context and the issues that may prove to be of relevance to EUA members and to the European higher education sector at large. This Update follows a background paper published by EUA in January...read more
The Alfa PUENTES Project is an international cooperation initiative created to foster the...read more
La encuesta TRESAL tuvo por objetivos: i) recabar la opinión de las universidades, sus profesores y estudiantes, sobre la importancia y los avances en los temas de mayor interés para las agendas de la educación superior de los países de América Latina en los últimos diez años; y ii)...read more
The EU and the US have embarked on negotiations designed to culminate in a major trade deal. Will it lead to unrestricted market access to higher education services? This is not the first time that the issue has arisen. The question is complex, the implications uncertain, and the answer unknown....read more
The report is the result of the project Europe-Africa Quality Connect: Building Institutional Capacity through Partnership (QA Connect) that took place between October 2010 and September 2012. The project was a joint undertaking by the Association of African Universities (AAU), the...read more
Le rapport est le résultat du projet intitulé Europe- Afrique Quality Connect : Construire une capacité institutionnelle à travers le partenariat (QA Connect), qui s’est déroulé entre octobre 2010 et septembre 2012. Le projet a été conjointement porté par l’Association...read more
The Access to Success project (2008-2010), funded by the Erasmus Mundus programme of the European Union, aimed at raising awareness of access and retention issues in higher education in Africa and Europe, and at exploring how higher education institutions in both regions are coping with the...read more
Le Livre Blanc du projet « Accès à la réussite – Pour renforcer la confiance et les échanges entre l’Europe et l’Afrique » est lancé à un moment important à plusieurs titres : tout d’abord, il se présente aux universités au moment où elles valorisent de plus en plus l’emploi des partenariats...read more
The white paper resulting from the project "Access to Success: Fostering Trust and Exchange between Europe and Africa" comes at a particularly critical moment in various regards: first, it arrives at a time when universities are increasingly prioritising global partnership as a strategic...read more
This essay is based on a meeting of 28 higher education presidents, rectors, and vice-chancellors who met in Vancouver, Canada, for the 11th Transatlantic Dialogue. The Transatlantic Dialogue is an ongoing initiative of the Association...read more
in June 2003, the European University Association (EUA) and the American Council on Education (ACE), in cooperation with the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), organized the eighth session of the Transatlantic Dialogue, a cross-border conversation that...read more
This essay emerged from the rich conversation of the Transatlantic Dialogue held in July 2001 at the Université Laval in Quebec, Canada. The purpose of this meeting was to explore the forces shaping change in higher education in the United States (ACE), Canada (AUCC),...read more
For Science|Business, EUA’s Thomas Jørgensen examines the European Economic Security Strategy. He...read more
In May 2022, the world of higher education met for the first UNESCO World Higher Education...read more
On the occasion of EUA’s 20th anniversary, Cardiff University President and Vice-Chancellor Colin...read more
The European Commission’s global approach to research and innovation is an ambitious vision for...read more
On the occasion of EUA’s 20th anniversary, President Michael Murphy and long-time senior expert...read more
As the mid-term evaluation of the first European University Alliances comes up, stakeholders must...read more
As the European University Initiative nears its mid-term review, it is time to think seriously...read more
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the European University Association, Andrée Sursock...read more
Confinement due to the coronavirus is a great challenge for the international mobility of...read more
Refugees bring with them skills, qualifications and experience – including in the medical field....read more
Internationalisation of the learning experience within higher education is becoming progressively...read more
How can higher education institutions model open, democratic and engaged communities? How can they...read more
After several Covid-19 related postponements, the UNESCO World Higher Education Conference (WHEC2022) finally takes place in Barcelona on 18 to 20 May 2022,...Read more
African higher education institutions and sectors have been enhancing their capacity for domestic and international collaboration. This is critical for their...Read more
EUA is pleased to invite university leaders from its membership to an online discussion on the impact of changing geopolitics on their institutions. Based on...Read more